What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

posted (09/01/2007) Male damselfly drowning female
I came across your website tonight, and thought you’d be interested in the attached sequence of photos I took this afternoon:

A male holding a female underwater until it drowned. Interesting alternative to dragonfly cannibalism.
Ken Carlson
Sanborn, Iowa

Hi Ken,
Your photo sequence is quite dramatic. In the insect and spider world, there is a documented phenomenon where the mating activity ends with the death of one of the participants. That phenomenon often ends with a cannibalized male, as in Black Widow Spiders and Preying Mantids. The unfortunate incident in your documentation is, we hope, accidental insecticide due to poor technique. Thanks for sending these images our way.

Update: Sat, Feb 21, 2009 at 1:57 AM
Comment:
If I may, these scenes show nothing to worry about.  Actualy it is the female that command the pair, the male stay attached to her to guard the mating pair against dangers and to make sure no other male would mate with the female. Female laying eggs under water is a common treat on many damselflies species, with or without the male, in some species the female can stay up to an hour under water, taking air that is ‘attached’ to the body, thanks to tinny hair on it, that what gives that nice silver glow visible in the last of the picture.
I hope this helps,
Renaud, Switzerland

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What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

One Response to Damselfly Mating ends in Tragedy: Spousal Abuse or Involuntary Insecticide????

  1. RenaudB says:

    If I may, these scenes show nothing to worry about. Actualy it is the female that command the pair, the male stay attached to her to guard the mating pair against dangers and to make sure no other male would mate with the female. Female laying eggs under water is a common treat on many damselflies species, with or without the male, in some species the female can stay up to an hour under water, taking air that is ‘attached’ to the body, thanks to tinny hair on it, that what gives that nice silver glow visible in the last of the picture.

    I hope this helps,
    Renaud, Switzerland

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